Little did my parents know when they gave me the middle name of Renée how truly prophetic they were being. On August 1, 1985, at the age of 16 I was reborn when I accepted God's free Gift of Life through Jesus Christ. This is a picture of the Bible Study group of counselors at the Y-Camp where I received this great gift. I actually prayed with one of the gals (Amy - in the Mickey Mouse sweatshirt) on one of the benches at the back of this outdoor chapel just behind where we were standing) This isn't the morning it happened - but one of the mornings after our EARLY morning Bible Study. I actually WILLINGLY got up and went to this Bible Study at 6:00 a.m. and anyone who knows me KNOWS that I am NOT a morning person. It was a definite God-thing that I was compelled to go and learn more about the Lord - but the actual story of my coming to faith is for another day.
Today I want to talk about some reflections - as I realized this birthday was coming up I was thinking about writing some "happy-happy" blog about how great life has been the past 28 years. However, tonight as I look back I am not feeling great. I am actually FEELING really down. Truth be told - I hate my life right now. I am not happy. I am struggling. I am hurting. I am grieving. This has all got me thinking... a sort of "crisis of faith" This has caused me to question - where is my faith?
As I've thought, reflected, and prayed I realized one major thing - on that day, 28 years ago I did not place my faith in a feeling - I placed my faith in the Person of Jesus Christ...
My faith is not in how I am feeling right now, my faith is in Jesus - this is what I hang my hat on, NO MATTER HOW I FEEL.
One of my favorite verses right after I became a believer was Galatians 2:20 and it remains one of my favorite verses today:
THIS is what matters today. How I feel doesn't matter. How I feel today is temporary - What is enduring is WHO Jesus is. One thing is as true today as it was 28 years ago when I first came to faith - JESUS IS THE SAME. He has not changed... and should the Lord tarry another 28, 56, or 128 years even - HE WILL STILL BE THE SAME. He will NEVER change. His love is constant, never-changing, unending, everlasting, HIS LOVE WILL NEVER FAIL.
- I am thankful today for God reaching out to me with His love and grace and not giving up on me in spite of my
stubbornnesserr... I mean determined attitude.
- I am thankful for my friend Tara who shared the Gospel with me in word and action.
- I am thankful for the counselors at the Y-Camp who showed God's love to me and taught me of His truth.
- I am thankful for my friend Amy who prayed with me that morning to receive Christ's Great Gift of Life.
- I am thankful for my first church family - my beloved Pastor Paul and the rest of Laura Street Baptist Church for showing me such amazing love and what God's family is all about.
- I am thankful for my numerous friends through the years who have been shining examples of God's love and grace.
- I am thankful for my current church family at Grace who have loved me despite my being pretty unlovable much of the time.
- I am thankful today for my counselor who reminded me today that when I am at the end of myself God will meet me there and that God truly is a Father to the fatherless.
In spite of how hurting and broken I am today - God is God and He has not changed. I am thankful that my Faith is in the Lord and not in my feelings.
With Gratitude and Faith,